Sunday, September 07, 2008

Palin and the Negligent Malevolence of the MSM

I have recently read a "Straw Man" argument on the Politico blog:

Why the media should apologize
Sarah Palin gave a really good speech. Why go beyond that, asks Simon.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On behalf of the media, I would like to say we are sorry.

On behalf of the elite media, I would like to say we are very sorry.

We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked.

We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice?

Bad questions. Bad media. Bad.

It is not our job to ask questions. Or it shouldn’t be. To hear from the pols at the Republican National Convention this week, our job is to endorse and support the decisions of the pols. [...]

It goes on, and on, and ON like that. What complete and utter BS. Not to mention arrogance and disdain.

I've never said the media shouldn't ask questions, and I don't know ANYONE who has. So what the hell is he talking about? What has Palin supporters upset is not questions, but the lies, smear and distortions about Governor Palin that are demonstrably untrue, that the media is so quick to embrace, promote and acclaim.

That's quite a different thing from being upset about questions being asked. Note to Simon: don't talk down to us or at us like we're ignorant morons, too stupid to understand the value of questioning. It's just that sort of weaselly, disingenuous elitist BS that's got so many of us angry with the MSM. Many of us understand the difference between real journalism and partisan propaganda.

When I went to college in the late 1970's my major was "Mass Communications". A great deal of that dealt with journalism basics. How to gather information and check facts to assemble and present a news story that could withstand scrutiny.

That is something fundamentally rudimentary to what a journalist does (or should) do.

So it's with this background that I look upon "journalism" by the main stream media today. I'm appalled at what I'm seeing.

So-called journalists seem to simply be lifting and repeating George-Soros Democrat talking points verbatim. They are repeating smears and rumors without doing any research, fact checking or verification. If I, who have even fewer fact checking resources available to me than professional journalists have, can go on line and search through public records and see, in context, what things Sarah Palin has said and done as a mayor and as Governor of Alaska, certainly journalists can do the same?

The talking point today is that she's hiding. The media has sharpened every knife in their drawer, and they now demand that she present herself for a stabbing-fest.

If she's not in a hurry to rush into that, I can't blame her. She's not hiding, she has been available talking to voters on campaign events, but the media doesn't want to cover that.

A lot has happened in her life in a short time since the nomination. She's still Governor of Alaska, and still a mother with kids, including a son about to go off to war. She's juggling a lot of things right now. If she needs some time to prepare herself before facing the decidedly hostile media, so be it. Obama has had a lot more time to prepare for the spotlight in a national campaign, much more than she is going to get. We understand that the MSM would rather deal with her as unprepared and vulnerable as possible, and therfore don't want to wait. But they will have to for a bit.

In the meantime, what the media could do, is actually get off their backsides and do some REAL journalistic WORK. Many of the supposed questions they are asking already have answers; they don't all have to be answered personally by Sarah Palin. If I, a non-journalist, can find the answers to so many of their questions, answers that are in things she has already said publicly, then surely the journalists could do the same - if they were sincerely interested in actually finding factual, true answers.

The MSM has revealed their bias for some time now. Remember Dan Rather-Gate? Fake memos about President Bush, being pushed by CBS as true during the 2004 election?

What about all the things about Barrack Obama that the media neglected to tell us, about his lengthy associations with hate-mongers and terrorists? I was able to find these things out on my own, before they became widely known to the general public. Surely journalists could have done the same? Those things only became know in the MSM because bloggers kept talking about issues that the MSM would not, until it became impossible for the MSM not to address them.

It seems that many journalists knew about John Edward's mistress and her baby. But they deliberately made a decision to not tell us about it. They decide to spoon feed us only what they want us to know or believe.

All things considered, it seems that most journalists in the MSM can't be trusted to dig for information and present facts that don't support their own personal political agenda.

Regarding Palin, it seems that the MSM has already chosen Obama for us; and if we want something different, they are going to fight it. Real journalism be damned.

One of the courses I took in college was called "Propaganda and Public Opinion". I learned how public opinion could be manipulated by withholding information, presenting information out-of-context, and mixing up lies with facts, and repeating lies until they become generally accepted. With such creative mixing and editing of facts and lies, you could make JFK look like Hitler, and Hitler look like JFK. It was a real eye opener.

We need real journalism, not propaganda. Of COURSE the media does need to question Palin; I have no doubt they will have plenty of opportunity soon enough. But let them be warned; we want real journalism, not just regurgitated George Soros talking points. Not neglectful research, partial facts, rumors, unsubstantiated gossip, or opinion masquerading as fact.

Some advice for the MSM:

Just as Sarah Palin needs to prepare to be questioned, Journalists also need to DO THEIR HOMEWORK before they question her; not waste her time and ours by asking questions they could have easily found the answers to on their own, like so many of the rest of us have done already. DON'T WASTE OUR TIME.

I should also add "Don't waste our time asking stupid chauvinistic questions from the 1950's that offend and bore those of us who are already living in the 21st century." I can't believe some of the stuff I've been hearing. Is this really the 21st century? Sheesh!

Journalists need to report on the whole, larger picture, not just fragments they can spin to suit their own agendas. That may have worked in Hitler's Germany, but we expect something better.

They need to be equally vigorous in their questioning to BOTH political parties, and seek to find real answers, not opinion and conjecture. There ARE such things as FACTS. We are tired of their attempts to merely sway public opinion toward the answers they want us to embrace.

To the journalists who want more respect, I say: Start actually DOING your JOB, and you might get it. Ask tough, intelligent questions, of ALL the candidates. Let us decide from the facts, stop talking down to us, stop presenting your opinions as facts, and stop making things up!

I realize that it's human nature to be biased. Save your bias for opinion pieces and editorials; that's where it belongs. Being a PROFESSIONAL in journalism actually needs to mean something; when it does, you will find you are respected more.

More journalism, less BS, please. Thank goodness we are going to see actual debates to base decisions on, not just media sound bites. At least, I hope we are.

Related Links:

Hell freezes over

Sarah Palin Smears, Lies, Rumors and Gossip

Governors, Senators, Qualifications & Reforms

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